Overheating Diesel-Powered Generators
7 Ways to Prevent Overheating Your Diesel-Powered Generator
Industrial diesel powered generators are powerful machines that are well-known for their durability, long lifespan, and reliable performance. However, like any electrical equipment, they can wear down and experience mechanical problems over time. Overheating is a top contributor to generator failure that can be caused by poor maintenance, improper use of the unit, and other issues.
What Happens When a Diesel Powered Generator Overheats?
If your generator is overheating, the internal components will be exposed to higher temperatures, which can cause extreme damage to the unit. Overheating can result in problems like:
- Burnt alternator
- Warped rotors
- Melted bearings
- Cracked head gasket
- Damaged radiator core
When a generator overheats, it may shut down, leaving your business without the power source it needs in an emergency. You may experience significant financial losses due to this unexpected downtime while you wait for the repairs to be completed. If the damage is too severe, however, you may need to replace the component altogether. And if you have several parts that need to be replaced, you might find that the cost will be more than purchasing a new commercial generator for your facility. The good news is that overheating can be prevented by taking some of the following proactive measures.
1. Have Regular Oil and Filter Changes
Fresh oil is needed to keep the system lubricated so that all of the different parts of the generator engine can work together seamlessly. As the oil ages, it will become less and less effective, which will increase wear and tear on integral engine components. Without regular changes, the filter will get plugged and be unable to keep harmful debris away from the engine. Putting off the necessary oil and filter changes can eventually lead to overheating and cause irreparable damage. Change the oil and filters according to the manufacturer’s schedule to keep the generator running smoothly overtime.
2. Maintain the Coolant Level
A steady supply of coolant is essential to controlling the temperature of your generator power system. Coolant helps absorb the heat that the engine produces. When there’s not enough coolant in the system, the engine becomes too hot and could shut down. Especially if it overheats frequently. This can lead to needing expensive repairs or having to replace the engine altogether. You should check the coolant level often to help ensure reliable performance.
3. Repair Broken Hoses
Punctured, leaking, or collapsed hoses can seriously reduce your unit’s energy efficiency as they make your generator work harder than necessary to perform its job at the same level. Malfunctioning hoses can quickly wear down the unit and cause it to overheat. Sometimes, finding leaks or tears in a hose can be difficult, so if you suspect a leak but can’t find the source, contact a generator professional for assistance. They will be able to identify where the leak is coming from and repair it for you promptly. You should also address any obviously worn or corroded fittings. Replacing them before they have a chance to break can help you prevent more major problems down the line.
4. Don’t Block the Exhaust Area
Your generator exhaust will disperse the build up of hot air that the unit produces. If equipment, walls, or other structures block the exhaust area, it will cause the generator to overheat. We recommend to place the generator outdoors with plenty of clearance between the generator and any windows, doors, or vent openings. This will help keep the dangerous exhaust chemicals from reaching anyone inside the building while also preventing problems caused by a blocked exhaust pipe.
5. Avoid Overloading the Generator
Generators come in a range of sizes and power load capacities. Typically, a larger generator will have a higher output rating than smaller gensets. You should use extreme caution exceeding your generator’s power capacity—continuously overloading it will reduce its expected lifespan and result in unreliable performance. If you do find yourself needing more and more power as time goes on, consider purchasing a higher-capacity generator that can grow with the needs of your business.
6. Keep the Exterior Clean
It’s important to keep your diesel generator’s exterior as clean as possible. If too much dust or dirt accumulates on it, these small particles can enter the generator unit and clog the filter faster than expected. Without a clean filter, they will wreak havoc on the engine, eventually causing it to overheat or fail to operate completely. You should regularly wipe the generator exterior with a damp cloth, but never spray water directly on the generator or touch it with wet hands. Doing so could lead to shock or even electrocution, so it’s important to exercise extreme caution when cleaning the unit.
You should also make a point to regularly clear trash and other debris from the area surrounding the genset as they can block the air vents on a windy day and restrict air flow, causing your generator to quickly overheat. To minimize risk, check the area each day and remove anything that you think could pose a potential problem for your generator.
7. Perform Regular Maintenance
Regular servicing is the best thing that you can do to keep your generator in prime operating condition. Your maintenance technician will check the oil, filters, coolant, and other components that can lead to overheating if left neglected. They will also be able to identify and repair any issues with your system before they escalate into larger problems. Inspect your generator periodically can save your business thousands of dollars in repairs over the years.
Providing Trusted Power Solutions in California
Valley Power Systems partners with businesses across California who are looking for alternative power solutions. If you are in the market for a new diesel power generator, we have a wide selection available from top manufacturers, and our knowledgeable sales staff is standing by to help you select one that fits your power needs. Contact us today!
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